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Post #30: Summit Tragedy

Talked with Jon this morning.  The situation up there is being compared to the 1996 Tragedy Jon Krakauer wrote about in his book,
Into Thin Air
.  Jon confirmed 5 deaths and some folks still missing.  Jon saw four of the bodies near the summit but below the balcony.  The 1996 disaster claimed 8 lives during the main summit window when bad weather moved in. 

Jon said there was a 2 hour wait at one of the main chokepoints near the summit.  High winds moved in an trapped folks who were ascending and descending.  Some folks had already been climbing for 18-hours or more.  The climbers Jon assisted were disoriented, frostbitten, sick, and totally exhausted.  But the priorities were as follows:
#1 Save yourself, #2 Attend to your teammates, and #3 Assist any climbers that could be saved.  2 of the four frozen climbers appeared dead up there, and so Jon decided to descend.  One of Jon's Teammates David O'Brien was assisting with trying to help up to four of the Climbers. Jon Helped him save one of the Polish Climbers, but otherwise ontinued to help his own teammates Sandra, Urs, and Erik.

Jon is now back at Basecamp recovering.  He said, "Dont' count me out just yet for a return up the mountain to catch the weather window May 25-26."

Please direct media requests to meteorologist Chris Tomer at KDVR/KWGN-TV.

35 Comments to Post #30: Summit Tragedy:

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Jen on Monday, May 21, 2012 6:16 AM
Glad you are safe, Jon. Thinking about you and wishing you the best.
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nancy and bob hofman on Monday, May 21, 2012 6:22 AM
joh, we are wishing good weather and a safe summit, but above all, a safe return. We will continue to follow you and keep you in our thoughts.. Hofmans
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Cuse on Monday, May 21, 2012 6:42 AM
JK - be safe. hope you get a shot at accomplishing your dream on the 25-26. We're all thinking about you back here.
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Kristina on Monday, May 21, 2012 7:49 AM
Stay safe up there. Sending positive thoughts your way! Best, Kristina
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Michael Pietrack on Monday, May 21, 2012 8:25 AM
Jon, I'm glad to hear that you are safe, and my heart goes out to those that didn't make it. Please take extreme care of yourself. We love you! ~Mike Pietrack and family
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Valerie Chapman-Stockwell on Monday, May 21, 2012 8:26 AM
Sending thoughts your way for you and your team's safety.
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marie on Monday, May 21, 2012 12:30 PM
Sending a prayer!

marie on Monday, May 21, 2012 12:33 PM
Saying a prayer for you and the familys of the 5 people that past away, be safe and take care.

Anonymous on Monday, May 21, 2012 9:07 AM
I can't even imagine what it must've been like up there. Glad to hear you are safe. Hoping for good weather and safe climbing. Thank you Chris for keeping us informed with these updates. -Josh
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Mary Beth Brubeck on Monday, May 21, 2012 10:33 AM
Phew! We are all thankful you are safe and it's just like you to help rescue others in need. I can't comprehend 200 people attempting to summit the same day! I had no idea so many climbers would be there at once. We will keep our fingers crossed your window will be there this weekend but we will keep praying for your safe return. Stay safe. (The Brubeck's)
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Katie on Monday, May 21, 2012 11:16 AM
Sounds like you are being safe and smart! Keep it up! Can't wait to see you when you get back.
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folgen dieser on Friday, August 02, 2013 10:14 PM
Yes! I imagine it's very dangerous everything that happens in the mountain, so I admire what you are doing, you're very brave.

Mel on Monday, May 21, 2012 11:41 AM
Glad to hear Jon is OK! Go get it! - Mel
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Valerie Chapman-Stockwell on Monday, May 21, 2012 11:44 AM
Just a heads-up--we had a media release out about Jon's attempt at the summit, before the trouble started. We amended the release this morning to make the local and national media aware about what was happening and referred them to your blog and to the website. You will probably experience a lot of traffic. Also reporters are interested in talking to Jon and crew when available.
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deirdre on Monday, May 21, 2012 12:40 PM
life vs. "accomplishing your dream". accomplising your dream = watching men die by their choice and not being able to do anything about it while preparing to be the next. Hope it's worth it.
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david pietrack on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:06 AM
WOW! That is so dumb. Everyone knows, a person like you really hopes it is not worth it. You are pitiful.

stanley mcqueen on Monday, May 21, 2012 4:11 PM
what on earth makes people want to climb this mountain, that over 200 people have lost their lives, what are these type people thinking? , big deal when you reach the top , these who died over noting but being able to say i have climbed mt everest , this is nothing but foolishness on man part. it seem to me that some people lives don't really mean much to them, how vein man is!!!!
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david pietrack on Monday, May 21, 2012 11:47 PM
Stanley & Jake Mcqueen, After reading your comments, I am wondering if you are brothers. Your incorrect use of the English language indicates you both went to the same third grade English class. I suggest you both put down the bong, get some Visine, and go back to school. Also, get your mommy and daddy to help you compose any further comments. This is a very serious time. People have lost their lives. Only adult comments are appropriate. DAVID PIETRACK

jake mcqueen on Monday, May 21, 2012 4:20 PM
when a man takes fire into his hands he will certainly get burned, God gives men , a will to do as he pleases, when men breaks the natural laws of God sometimes he will suffer death , don't a man know if he jump off a high mt the will suffer death, its not a natural thing to climb about sea level where there is not the right amount of oxygen for a man to breath, there should be law passed that don't allow men to kill themselves climbing mountains, just think over two hundred people have died for vainity really,
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Todd Potestio on Monday, May 21, 2012 5:41 PM
So happy to hear you are safe... We are with you every step of the way. Follow your intuition and trust what your body and mind are saying to you! Sending positive thoughts and a safe journey- The Potestio Family
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Lisa on Monday, May 21, 2012 5:54 PM
Hey Jon, Been following your blog every couple days and listening to Tomer's reports on TV, too. None of us can imagine what you'e going through physically and emotionally, especially with the tragedy this wknd. Hang in there and get refocused........this is YOUR life and YOUR dream, and I have faith that you will make the right decision for you......GO FOR IT!!! Lots of prayers are being said for you. And then hurry back so you can personally sign my "Bivy" book....heeeheee. Lisa And to the "negative people" responding to this blog----weren't you ever taught, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." If this bothers you that much, why are you following this blog to begin're just jealous that someone is actually living their life!!
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Anonymous on Monday, May 21, 2012 5:56 PM
Climbing Everest makes perfect sense. Life without risk is not worth living. Besides are you saying that people walking across the street or driving a car at sea level are being unnatural and vain as well? For so many climbing Everest is a life long dream that gives them inner peace and brings them closer to God. Jon be one with your body and let your rules guide you. You will know when to proceed and when to turn around.
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Julie on Monday, May 21, 2012 6:10 PM
We were so relieved to hear that you had made it back to base camp safe. Your life long passion for climbing has not only have given you the skills to be able to attempt the summit but also to know how to stay safe and smart. All the best to you in your recovery from the climb and emotions of this past weekend. We continue to keep you in our thoughts -- Ryan Marie's family.
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Anonymous on Monday, May 21, 2012 9:00 PM
We were relieved to hear you were safe. Trust your instinct! All dreams are worth having and living. Be safe and we look forward to reading more posts! The Cain's
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deirdre on Monday, May 21, 2012 9:43 PM
From life vs. "accomplishing your dream". Don't think for a second that I am not praying for you and everyone else on that mountain and those at home, for a safe return and satiation of your dreams, and that I understand a person's life desire to accomplish unknown heights that can only be found by pushing yourself to the ultimate limit, I only ponder is it worth it? I am one of many dreams and maybe I won't have them all or even the most important but I have more to dream and wonder if a person who can dream to summit everest, then what else do they have to dream? What else do they have to contribute to the world? This is probably not a person the world can spare, or maybe it is?
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Joe L. on Friday, May 25, 2012 4:29 PM
Climbing Everest, or any mountain for that matter, is a personal journey. You ask the question, "Is it worth it?" however, for the ones who dare to try, the answer can only be found through the attempt itself. Every person who climbs Everest is aware of the risks and the reputation of the mountain, yet they choose to climb anyway. For them, the gravity of their dream is strong enough to justify risking their lives for it. I respect that. With regard to why any person would choose to climb Everest, I think that Nick Heil put it best: “What folly to think that anyone climbs Everest for the views, or the thrills, or the bragging rights, or vaguest of all, because it’s there. What’s there is this: the chance to be worthy of your own dreams."

Emelia on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:54 PM
Thank good your alive. I hope that you finish your climb and make it out alright
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Jordan N. on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:16 AM
we are reading Into Thin Air in english right now. its good to hear that your all safe
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Mark B. on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:32 AM
Jon,Glad to hear you are safe back at base camp.Keep the faith that you will get your chance to summit,with a weather window that looks good for your next attempt.Good Luck and God bless you on your attempt,and keep you safe.
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Karen M. Roth on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:19 AM
I am praying for your safety, happy return, a strong mindset, and the happy fulfillment of a lifelong dream. A little encouragement to put God first in this endeavor and to seek God's Wisdom in this matter as it will be God who makes this a success and not you yourself. Put God first and if it is His will, then it will most certainly be a success! Trust me when I say this, You will most certainly meet God upon the mountain.I pray that you will listen to Him if he tells you in your heart to do or not to do something as this will improve your safety factor. When I say God, I am not talking religion, I am talking about a personal one-to-one relationship. By the way, my Sister-in-law teaches Women's Studies at the CWU, Ruthi Erdman. She and I will pray together for your safety and success.
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Jorge Cunha on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:06 PM
Hoping you be in a safe way back home. Prayn' for your safety. Do you have any news about hiker Phil Henderson,Mr Jon? He's ok? Thanks.
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Anonymous on Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:15 PM
John sounds like a pretty greedy guy. John, out of all the articles ive read that have been about you it seams that more of it is about you dominating the mountain with little thought or respect for it. You calmly mention how you "helped" four people, and I would like to think that. But in every instance it seams as if you shrug your shoulders like, ehhh not much I can do, onward and upward. One thing you could do is go down. Unclog the mountain. Try a first ascent of something. What's better? Be trapped up there with only vain aspirations or get out in the middle of nowhere and really connect and find a challenge. (I know ever is IS a challenge ). Also, it's not comparable to 1996 and if you have the energy to brag about multiple summit attempts and really want to be like into then air than please read "the climb". Help is what Anatoli did. I hope the way your interviews and blog have come accros (I haven't watched any, only read) is not who you are or what your about. Glad your safe
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david pietrack on Friday, May 25, 2012 6:25 AM
I am always amazed when I listen to someone who thinks like you do. You know almost nothing about Jon's life, but at a time like this you use words like brag,little respect,want to be like,and vain. I could take the time to explain how wrong your impressions are, but your just too irrelevant. Why did you even bother to comment??? I think I know, and I think we all know. The truth be known, it's not Jon that wants to be like some book. It's a part of everyone of us that wants to be like Dr.Jon Kedrowski David Pietrack

Sam Forester on Friday, May 25, 2012 7:40 AM
Dude.... you certainly don't get it. What was your mentality when you climbed Everest?

Matt Considine on Saturday, April 06, 2013 7:36 PM
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